The two-day summit of member States of Union of Africa Shippers Council (UASC) which started Thursday in Abuja has ended with a policy position that trade, and transport connectivity remain the pillar for sustaining growth in Africa.
In his lead paper titled: Infrastructure Development and Maintenance: Funding Options and Trade Policies, chief host and Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barr Hassan Bello added that the meeting also seek to push for development and maintenance that would go a long way in promoting efficiency, competitiveness and cost reduction in the delivery of goods and services in the West and Central African Sub-Region
Stressing that the critical role of trade and transportation cannot be overemphasized, Bello explained that transport drives integration, adding that trade connectivity is key to Africa’s development.
In his comments, Senior Director and Head of Natural Resources and Transportation at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Mr Ato Gyasi advised member countries to take advantage of the Corporation’s financial support to develop infrastructure within the continent.
Director, Mass Transit and Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transport, Dr Anthonia Ekpa, informed the gathering various steps the Nigerian Government is taking to overhaul its transport infrastructure especially in the Port sector.
Other speakers at Thursday’s meeting include Chief Executive Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Dr Kofi Mbiah, representative of Director, Trade Department, Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), representative of the Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Export Group, Chief Ede Dafinone, Dr Kingsly Usoh, among others
Other objective of the meeting include to examine better access to transportation infrastructure and networks to improve connectivity, promote integration of markets and enhance regional trade for sustainable economic growth of the West and Central African Sub-region.
The meeting also works on sensitizing authorities and policy makers on other options for financing public and private projects, indentify challenges to Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and remove unnecessary bureaucratic practices and procedures.